CENTREVILLE, Mass. – Gallaudet University led all Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) programs with three selections to the 2011 Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) North All-Star teams that were announced Tuesday.
GU sophomore defensive end Matt Harris (Lynchburg, Va.) was the lone ECFC player on the first-team defense while Mount Ida senior running back Johrone Bunch was the lone ECFC player on the first-team offense. Bunch was the ECFC Offensive Player of the Year. Harris led NCAA Division III with 15.5 sacks and 26 tackles for a loss of 129 yards. Harris was named ECFC Defensive Player of the Week twice (Oct. 24, 31) and was picked to the D3football.com Team of the Week (Oct. 24).
The Bison had two second-team all-stars in senior offensive lineman Ryan Mahoney (Branson, Mo.) and junior defensive back Tony Tatum (Gardendale, Ala.). Mahoney, a two-time All-ECFC selection, started all 10 games for the Bison and helped the GU rushing offense average 225 yards per game (3rd best in the league). Tatum, Gallaudet's shutdown cornerback, only had 50 passes thrown his way in 2011 where 11 were caught and he picked off four passes (tied for third in the ECFC). He was the 2010 ECFC Rookie of the Year and was selected to the all-conference second team for defense.
The three ECAC All-Star awards are the first since 2009 when linebacker Tom Pangia (Hammonton, N.J.) was named the ECAC Division III Northeast Region Rookie of the Year.
Three other ECFC players were named to the ECAC second team including Castleton State sophomore wide receiver Brandon Boyle, Norwich senior offensive lineman Rob Sturgis, the 2011 ECFC Offensive Lineman of the Year, and junior defensive lineman A.J. Knibbs, the 2011 ECFC Co-Defensive Player of the Year. All of the ECFC selections were on the all-conference first team for offense or defense.
About the ECAC
The Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) is the nation's largest athletic conference and only multi-divisional conference, with approximately 300 member institutions and over 122,000 student-athletes ranging across 16 states from Maine to North Carolina and westerly to Illinois. Established in 1938 with 58 charter members, the ECAC has since emerged as the nationwide leader in service. The ECAC honors more than 2,000 student-athletes during the academic year through its all-star and player of the week programs. Each week, the conference has recognized football players of the week, including offensive and defensive, in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), Football Championship Subdivision (FCS), Division II, and Division III.